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October 9, 2015

Mislabelling of Fur Clothing and Accessories in the UK

Humane Society International/United Kingdom

  • A raccoon dog in the wild. Alamy

Many fur items for sale in the UK, especially in markets, are either not labelled at all, or are incorrectly labelled — confusing shoppers who would never dream of knowingly contributing to animal cruelty by buying or wearing real fur.

Don't be guided by cost

Shockingly, real fur can now be produced and sold for less than fake fur — a calculation that’s costing animals their lives.

Just a few of the items recently found in the UK:

  • A knitted hat with real marmot fur bobble costing £3.50
  • A handbag charm/keyring pom pom made from rabbit fur for sale at £5 each
  • A parka with real raccoon dog fur trim around the hood priced at £35
  • A gilet made from real raccoon dog fur with a £75 price tag
  • A short sleeveless jacket made of rabbit and marmot fur for sale at £35

Check before you buy, but please do not simply rely on labels or price when taking a decision on whether fur is real or fake — an animal’s life could depend on it. Check out our guide to telling the difference between real and fake fur — and if in any doubt, please leave it on the shelf.

Make it fake, for the animals’ sake.

Buyer beware

We’ve also found instances where real fur is not listed on the item’s fabric content label, and items containing real fur that do not carry any label whatsoever. For example:

  • A ladies' coat with a real fur trim on the hood, labelled polyester 100%
  • A pair of fingerless gloves with real fur trim, labelled 100% acrilico [sic]
  • A knitted hat with a real fur bobble, labelled 100% acrylic
  • A pair of woolen gloves with real fur trim, labelled 80% wool, 20% polyester

None of these items was marked with the wording required under the Textile Products (Labelling and Fibre Composition) Regulation that came into force across the European Union in November 2014.

Your vigilance can make a real difference: Leaving these items on the shelf kills the demand for real fur — and saves the lives of animals around the world.

EU Textile Regulation

The Textile Products (Labelling and Fibre Composition) Regulation requires by law that a “textile product” that include parts of animal origin (including, for example, leather and real animal fur) must be clearly labelled or marked using the phrase “contains non-textile parts of animal origin”.

Our retail surveys show extremely low compliance with this new Regulation, meaning consumers currently can’t rely on labels to avoid buying real animal fur.

If you think you have been sold a mislabelled item, or you have found real fur that you believe is incorrectly labelled, please report it to Trading Standards and let us know, too.

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